Dear friends and colleagues, 
We are extremely excited to announce the selection of Lamar M. Gardere to the role of Executive Director of The Data Center.  Lamar will start his new role on June 12, 2017 succeeding Dr. Allison Plyer who has recently served in the dual roles of both Chief Demographer and Executive Director.
 "Mr. Gardere comes to us with tremendous experience, a drive for high impact, and a commitment to policies driven by equity. I know the next chapter for The Data Center will be bright with Lamar at the helm,” says Reginald Harley, Board Chair. “We can think of no better person to lead the cutting edge work of this organization going forward.” 
Lamar joins The Data Center after six years with the City of New Orleans Office of Information Technology and Innovation, most recently as the Chief Information Officer overseeing a 90-person, $13.5 million department. His experience in maintaining the City’s IT and data services and programs – including NOLA 311 and all major citizen-facing technology services – makes Lamar extremely well suited to lead The Data Center’s community-driven and neighborhood-oriented mission of democratizing data. Further, Lamar is nationally recognized for the development of extensive data sharing resources now available through the City of New Orleans’ Open Data portal – work inspired, in large part, by The Data Center. He is well positioned to lead The Data Center’s ongoing efforts to transform local culture to one that embraces data as an intrinsic component of sound policy development.
Allison has served as Chief Demographer for more than 10 years and 4 years in the concurrent role of Executive Director.  Starting July 2017, Allison will continue to author key publications on changing demographics for The Data Center, while she branches out to tackle new challenges. “I am excited to be part of The Data Center’s important work disseminating data about the changing demographics across the city’s 300-year history and related inequities over time. We are pleased that the Surdna Foundation, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and Entergy have already agreed to support this critical work to be released during the city’s Tricentennial in 2018,” says Dr. Plyer. “My main goal as I transition is to leave The Data Center well supported for a bright future.”
Lamar’s work at City Hall provides him with a solid understanding of the importance of rigorous and highly credible data analysis to enable decisionmakers to set priorities and develop strategies. His experience in data technology and background in software research and development make him uniquely qualified to enhance The Data Center’s ability to disseminate findings in new and innovative ways. Lamar will hit the ground running, leading a highly-qualified staff of professionals, and an organization ideally poised for growth and expansion.
Please join us in welcoming Lamar Gardere as the new Executive Director of The Data Center. We look forward to working with him to continue The Data Center’s reputation for quality while inspiring innovation for tomorrow’s needs. 

The Data Center Staff and Board of Directors

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